News Networks in Early Modern Europe (What Is News and Is It a Network?)
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the history of newspapers was written from national perspectives, reflecting national concerns. In the twenty-first century, historians have broadened their scope, recognising the interplay between newspapers and other media, and recognising the importance of international flow of news. But once we broaden our scope, how can we possibly manage the quantities of evidence available in order to move beyond case studies to a new story? Is a new bigger picture possible? In this lecture I will propose the advantages of – and problems involved in – rethinking and analysing the information community of early modern Europe as a complex, self-organising network.
Joad Raymond is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of various books on early modern newspaper history and print culture, including The Invention of the Newspaper: English Newsbooks, 1641-1649 (Oxford, 1996; 2005), Pamphlets and Pamphleteering in Early Modern Britain (Cambridge, 2003); Milton’s Angels: The Early Modern Imagination (Oxford, 2010); and the editor of various books including The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture, vol. 1: Cheap Print in Britain and Ireland to 1660 (Oxford, 2011). A collection entitled News Networks in Early Modern Europe, based on the eponymous Leverhulme Trust funded research network, will be published by Brill in 2015. He is presently editing Milton’s Defences for The Oxford Complete Works of John Milton, and preparing to write a book on news in early modern Europe for Penguin.